Archive for June, 2009

Product Recommendation: Paring Knife with Cover (Great for kids meals on the go)

I cut food into little bits for Sofie all day long and finally decided to get a few more paring knives so I could just wash them all at the end of the day. We found these great knives at Williams-Sonoma. They cut extremely well and I love that they have a cover for the blade. It means I can safely put them in a drawer with other kitchen utensils instead of a knife block. The colors are also cute and make them easy to find in a drawer full of other random kitchen tools.

Parent Tip: They are great for meals out of the house with kids!!

About 45 minutes ago I had one out to cut up some avocado maki for my 16 month old daughter (yes, it is wonderful that she likes it already! She actually loves it!) The knife cut through the rolls like butter. And I realized that I should have brought the knife out to dinner with us when we were out for sushi last Saturday.  I struggled with cutting the sushi with the knife they provided and Sofie ended up with very mangled pieces. Since these knives have a cover, I could have easily brought it and had the proper tool to cut up her rolls. It would have been nice to have for the tofu I cut up for her too. Now, if you have a child who tends to dig through your bag that idea may not be so safe, but if you can keep it away from kids it will be so great to have on hand.

Purchasing:

It looks like you can only buy them in a set of 3 online ($29.85), but in the store you can buy them individually (~$10). We opted to get 2 green ones. It is actually a really pretty green.

Williams-Sonoma Link to Knives

June 24, 2009 at 12:27 pm Leave a comment

CSA Share – Week 3

This week included: lots of garlic scapes, carrots, spinach, lettuce, red swiss chard, scallions, kohlrabi, a new asian green

PYO: snap peas, parsley, thyme, chives

Jeromy picked up our share from our friend’s house on his way home for work. It was a late night so we ordered in sushi instead of cooking. But are planning big dinner salads for tonight, swiss chard with pasta tomorrow night and probably grilling scapes and scallions over the weekend. It was such a nice surprise to see scapes again, for the 3rd week in a row. I also think I’ll cook the spinach up with some pasta too. We passed on more cabbage since we still have a lot of the vegetable slaw that we made on Sunday left. If you haven’t seen the recipe I suggest you check it out, it was a very yummy and refreshing slaw (it was my previous post).

Next week it’s our turn to go to the farm again for the pickup and I’m really looking forward it! Our farm partners with other local groups and so has other goodies for sale at pickup, I plan to get some more honey and probably some cheese and maple syrup. My friend, Jen, said the garlic goat cheese was really good. I just hope we get some better weather, this stretch of gloomy, raining days is really starting to get to me.

June 24, 2009 at 10:02 am Leave a comment

Recipe: Vegetable Slaw with Jalapeno-Lime Dressing

IMG_3554

My husband made this over the weekend and it was really delicious! We had it with  fish tacos, though it was great on its own as a side as well. We made a couple adjustments to the recipe:

  • we did not use jicama or red and yellow peppers since we didn’t have any [update  9/4/09: we used jicama in our last batch and it was even better! Get some if you can!]
  • we used napa cabbage instead of green and upped the amounts since we had a lot – just shows you how flexible the recipe is
  • we only used one jalapeno since I’m a wimp
  • we used the vegetable oil option. It was a little oily the first time. We now half the amount of oil.

Enjoy!!!

Vegetable Slaw with Jalapeno-Lime Dressing Recipe

Source: Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook

Ingredients 

Dressing

  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 3 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5 t salt
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • .5 t ground coriander
  • 1 C vegetable oil or .5 C buttermilk plus .5 C mayonnaise

Salad

  • .5 small head green cabbage
  • .5 small head purple cabbage
  • 1 small jicama (optional)
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 sweet red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 medium red onion
  • .5 C minced chives

Directions

Combine the ingredients up to coriander in a bowl or food processor.  Whisk or blend while slowly drizzling in the oil.  If using buttermilk and mayonnaise, simply whisk together all of the ingredients to blend well.  Adjust seasonings and set aside.

Core the cabbages and finely shred them.  If using jicama, peel it, cut it in half and slice into thin, even rounds.  Julienne slides into long, thin matchsticks,   Peel carrots and slice thin, diagonal coins.  Julienne each coin into long matchsticks.  Seed peppers and slice into fine strips.  Slice thin slivers of onion.  Roughly chop the stemmed cilantro.

Toss all of the vegetables in a large bowl and mix in the dressing.  Let the slaw sit at least 30 minutes, then toss again before serving.

June 24, 2009 at 7:38 am 2 comments

Recipe: Grilled Beets

Grilled Beets

This blog and recipe has moved to: http://blog.amindfullife.us/2009/06/18/recipe-grilled-beets/

June 18, 2009 at 7:14 am 1 comment

Product Recommendation: Cutting Board – Epicurean

If you are in the market for a new cutting board I highly recommend the Epicurean boards. We bought a couple about a year ago and just picked up 2 more since I now cut things so often through the day for my daughter’s meals. We discovered them at Williams Sonoma.

They:

  • are very durable
  • go in the dishwasher
  • are eco-friendly
  • are great if you prefer wood cutting boards to others as there is a similar feel
  • come in good sizes

Here is a link to learn more about the boards – http://www.epicureancs.com/

June 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

CSA Share – Week 2

It was our friend Jen’s turn to pick up this week. Jeromy swung by her house on his way home from work to pickup our portion.

Our goodies this week: bok choy, garlic scapes, a couple varieties of lettuce, beets, arugala, napa cabbage. PYO: snap peas, snow peas, parsley, chives, thyme

When you are splitting 2 shares across 3 families sometimes it is easiest just to take one of something instead of splitting it. For instance, this week we didn’t take any swiss chard but we took a few more beets.

I didn’t have time to take any photos before we started digging in to get everything clean and get dinner on the table. We had giant salads with lettuce, arugula, a little cabbage, some shaved beet and a white balsamic vinegar dressing with the fresh thyme that my husband made. Delicious!! I have never had raw beet before, it was surprisingly sweet.

Tonight we’re grilling. For sides we’re grilling the beets using a recipe from our CSA farm’s site (if it is good I’ll post it) and the garlic scapes. We had garlic scapes for the first time last week and grilled them based on a suggestion from a friend and they were amazing! I am so happy we have them again. From what I have read they are only around for a couple weeks a year. Thursday we’re planning a pork and bok choy stir-fry and Sunday we’re going to attempt to make fish tacos and a nice slaw (with our napa cabbage) for Father’s Day. I’m starting to salivate just thinking about it all!

June 17, 2009 at 9:25 am Leave a comment

CSA Distribution Pickup tips

We pick up our weekly distribution at the farm, so instead of having a box ready to go, we actually select our produce from a series of bins, almost like at a grocery store. There is a board that tells us what we can take (e.g. the first week we could choose 8 out of the 10 items available) and then each bin is labeled with how much of each we should take (e.g. 1 lb of spinach, two heads of lettuce). Each week there will also be some crops that we can pick ourselves. These tips are for that type of pick up and picking your own crops (PYO).

 –          There is a lot

  • Bring a lot of bags, always better to have a couple extra sitting in the car than not enough
  • The quantity and size of the produce will change each week (and year). Our first pick up included a number of large items such as collard greens, green leaf lettuce, swiss chard. I filled (overfilled) 3 reusable grocery bags to the brim before PYO and I expect the amounts to increase over the weeks

–          The veggies will probably be wet

  • The farm gives everything a rinse so items are a bit wet. The day I picked up it had also been raining, so that may have added even more moisture but everything was pretty wet. My bags had soaked through by the time I got home and had to be hung outside to dry.
  • I’d recommend putting a towel down in the car to soak up any water that leaks out on the ride home – just in case. We have plastic mat and it had a few small pools of water.  

–          Managing with a young child

  • I had my daughter in the Ergo on my front and it was a bit of a challenge to select and then put the veggies in the bag, and it got harder as the 3 bags filled. She was a good sport for most of it, even though I kept hitting her with wet leaves. I did eventually have to put her down when I got our lettuce as I just couldn’t manage to get the 4 giant heads of lettuce in the over full bags with her on me. I put her down and everything was much easier. Actually, I also put all the bags down to get the lettuce, everything was that full.
  • If your child can stand/walk I recommend you have them walk with you instead of having them in a carrier, it will be a lot easier.
  • If your child can’t stand yet you might want to bring a stroller or at least use a carrier with your child on your back.

–          PYO tips

  • Bring another bag for PYO – bring a solid bag (i.e. not one made of netting) since you will probably be putting small loose items in it.
  • I used scissors and pint containers from the PYO stand. When I was done I emptied the snap peas into my bag and returned the pint containers and scissors to the stand. If you are able, bringing your own scissors and pint containers would mean you wouldn’t have to go back to the stand to return them (not the returning to it was that big of a deal).
  • PYO can take a while, especially if you have more than one item to pick. You may want to consider breaking it up, in particular if you have a young child with you, since they will get antsy.
  • Luckily, my daughter was pretty good in the fields. I have her a snap pea to munch on and she was content with that and playing with the flowers. Pretty soon though I know she’ll want to eat even more while we’re out there (can’t blame her!) and will probably want to run around more.

–          Attire

  • If you are doing PYO, definitely wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty, in particular if you will be picking up your child. It  might have been a little worse because Sofie’s feet were wet from the grass, but I had lovely shoe marks on my pants from picking her up to move around the farm. But still it wasn’t that bad and you should get a little dirty when on a farm
  • I had Sofie in crocs with socks on (since it was a little chilly), I figured I could just throw the socks in the wash and rinse off the crocs if they got yucky. I’ll probably get a pair of rain boots or something for her to wear to the farm too.

June 17, 2009 at 8:18 am 2 comments

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